HOBOKEN, NJ – The excitement of going to Maxwell’s for the first time made me forget about how horrible parking is in Hoboken. Despite my attempts at avoiding the parking garage, I was left with no choice.
Because of the circling around I missed half of the opening act. Walking in, I caught the last three songs of Kansas City act Vedera. Immediately I was mesmerized by the refreshing vocals of Kristen May. The 80 plus people that made it out early were in no way disappointed. Although May wasn’t one with words, as she seemed somewhat nervous, she was truly energizing with her singing.
Following Vedera were Seattle rockers The Myriad whose uphill battle with sound check made it increasingly difficult to pay attention. Once they finally got their set started, after the fifth time, it was interesting to hear the transition from Vedera. The Myriad drew attention to both their usage of bows and their keyboard.
The Myriad’s songs made me think of a stereotypical coffee house. I thought of people just sitting around talking while some random band plays in the background. Looking around it seemed as if everyone was on their cell phones. They weren’t the kind of band that made everyone get off their feet, but at the same time they weren’t bad. At the end of each song people put their phones down and applauded. Although, I did feel like their mellow songs seemed suitable on a nap time play list.
They ended their set with a couple of songs that were above and beyond what I expected from what I had heard up to until then. It seemed like a completely different band closing out. Their revival on stage caught everyone by surprise.
One thing that’s unique about Maxwell’s is that it’s basically just a box; no backstage, no railings, just a backroom really. Between sets equipment was being moved right through the floor; nothing exciting about that, but while people just huddle around it was sweet to watch the band that just played mingle with the crowd. Right after The Myriad took their set apart they talked to some fans and were basically lost in the crowd.
Once everything was set on stage people noticed that Eisley was walking right through the crowd. They walked in with big smiles, cheerful and happy to see the people there ready to go. It’s worth noting that Eisley is made up of all family members; four siblings and a first cousin of which three girls, their brother and their cousin.
Lights finally dimmed; they started up with “Taking Control” from their latest album, Combinations. The singing seems to come from all over the place as all three sisters take part in the song. Their voices don’t drown out the music instead they buzz in your ear. Fans were constantly shifting their heads to see where the singing was coming from. Following one of their faster paced songs they slowed things down with Come Clean which has a cleaner sound than some of their other songs, mainly because it’s a simpler song with less things going on.
They played a strong concentration of songs from their latest album including “A Sight to Behold” and “Many Funerals” and some off their previous album, Room Noises, such as “Just Like We Do” and “Telescope Eyes.” They definitely made those who ventured out to Maxwell’s satisfied.